This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

The Apple Crate Shack On The Apple Isle!

Architecture

$60,000 (sadly) doesn’t go very far when building a home. For Tasmanian architect Andrew Kerr, this was the entire ambitious budget for completing his own (modest) home at Flowerpot, in the Huon Valley outside of Hobart. 

While the final excel spread-sheet budget line came in at $103,000, this apple crate inspired property shows the potential of living large, with less. In a state suffering from a housing crisis, new models for housing are increasingly important for exploring affordable alternatives.

20th August, 2019

The Apple Crate Shack in Flowerpot Tasmania, designed by Andrew Kerr of AKA architects and built by R.B Edwards and Son. Photo – Jordan Davis.

Designed to an ambitious 60k budget, the final build costs came in at $103 000.  Photo – Jordan Davis.

This home is located in Flowerpot, in the Huon Valley, Tasmania. Photo – Jordan Davis.

The planter pots continue the ‘apple crate’ aesthetic. Photo – Jordan Davis.

Andrew used recycled materials where possible, including windows. Photo – Jordan Davis.

A small budget doesn’t need to mean any loss of comfort! Photo – Jordan Davis.

A reading nook. Photo – Jordan Davis.

A bath with a view! Photo – Jordan Davis.

Recycled bricks create an internal partition in the kitchen and living area. Photo – Jordan Davis.

Apple crate inspired cladding creeps out the side of the home. Photo – Jordan Davis.

Miriam McGarry
Tuesday 20th August 2019

‘No building is perfect, but it is nearly perfect for my needs’ – Andrew Kerr. 

The Apple Crate Shack in Flowerpot (yes, it’s a real place) in Tasmania was designed by architect Andrew Kerr to a strict budget. The director of AKA Architects was creating his own home, and his primary design motivation was to ‘build a home I could afford.’ He charted his developments on his blog, 60K house, where he explore the idea of ‘adequacy – the design is guided by needs, not wants’, without compromising on comfort. 

While the final budget exceeded the 60k ambition, Andrew explains ‘this is a comfortable and stylish home that performs thermally very well, and uses very little power, built for only $103 000. There aren’t too many homes of this quality being produced around the country for that price.’

The home takes inspiration from the local Huon Valley fruit growing history, as the form of the building references ‘a series of stacked apple crates.’ The timber cladding was milled on site from felled trees, making the whole enterprise incredibly site specific. Andrew explains ‘short lengths of useful timber were the result’ which enables the ‘apple’ crate aesthetics. ‘The building is literally “of” the place.’ 

The tight budget necessitated resourcefulness and adaptive re-use of materials, including four large windows that were given to Andrew, second hand fixtures, and recycled bricks for the internal wall. The architect highlights ‘this experiment saved some money while providing the necessities and a chance to experiment.’ 

As both architect and client, Andrew was constantly challenged to consider what was a necessity and what was a luxury. Working closely with the builder also allowed for moments of creativity and inventiveness. As the owner, the joys of living in this dreamy bush block are the rewards of a considered approach to the design, where ‘it is immensely satisfying to return home during the colder months to a warm and welcoming solar-powered house, and to walk barefoot across the warm insulated polished concrete slab.’ 

Andrew reflects, ‘no building is perfect, but the Apple Crate Shack is nearly perfect for my needs.’ The hot indoor/outdoor shower under the stars sounds pretty perfect. 

This Week

Family

An Honest Conversation On Single Parenting By Choice + Donor Conception With Takeawei Ceramics Founder, Chela Edmunds

Chela Edmunds of Takeawei ceramics shares her story of becoming a mother to 18-month-old Ocean via sperm donor and IVF.

On The Market

This Elegant Victorian With An Eclectic Architect-Designed Extension Is For Sale

Period features meet unique, contemporary design in this Ascot Vale, Melbourne home.

On The Market

An Interior Designer’s Glamorous Victorian Pad Hits The Market!

Chelsea Hing’s apartment in an 1890s Italianate mansion in St Kilda East is up for sale. This is *the one*!

Architecture

A New Melbourne Home That Follows The Sun

This Eaglemont home has been cleverly designed 'to almost disappear', by Architects Eat.

Creative People

A Travel-Inspired Ceramics Collection That Will Take You On Holiday!

Queensland-based ceramics brand Marloe Marloe launches a new collection of vessels inspired by the seaside!

News

Patricia Piccinini And Alpha60 Join Forces On A New Collaboration

The celebrated Australian artist and local fashion legends launch a new series of textiles titled ‘Hugs’, which are now installe...
Sponsored

Architecture

A Casually Confident Beachside Home

A falling down period home in South Fremantle has been brought back to life with a new extension by David Barr Architects.
Amelia Barnes
  11 hours ago

Stays

This Origami-Style Beach Shack Is The Perfect Coastal Getaway

This architecturally designed coastal retreat on Stradbroke Island looks out over the glittering Coral Sea. The most dreamy vacation destina...
Sasha Gattermayr
  3 hours ago

Creative People

Behind The Scenes Of 'Rone In Geelong’ – Opening This Weekend!

See a retrospective of artist Rone's work to date at Geelong Gallery from Saturday February 27 to Sunday May 16, 2021.

Studio Visit

The Melbourne Artist Creating Ceramics Inspired By Ancient Mesoamerican Culture

From dub music to the Chinese Song Dynasty, the influences of Enrique Tochez Anderson stretch far, wide and into the past.

Shopping

Lockdown-Inspired Woven Outdoor Picnic Mats, From One Of Our Fave Local Stylists!

Stylist Nat Turnbull launches Laze, a new brand of outdoor mats for lounging and picnicking, with designs by Alice Oehr.

News

A Group Show Combining Ceramics + Still-Life Under One Roof!

Ceramicist Grace Brown joins artistic forces with figurative artist Margaret Voterakis for a new exhibition at Modern Times, ‘Utopian Purs...
Sasha Aarons

News

'Giant' by Evi O Opens At Saint Cloche

Artist Evi O showcases her largest paintings to date in new exhibition Giant, on now at Saint Cloche.

Homes

A Biophilic Family Home Among The Trees

The newly-renovated Warrandyte family home of Millie and Dave Wells perfectly blends indoors and out!

Tiny Homes

The Architect-Designed, Prefabricated Tiny House Of The Future

FABPREFAB have teamed up with TRIAS to create Minima – a series of prefabricated, small dwellings suitable as home offices, living spaces,...

View Comments

Similar Stories

Stays

Cabin Fever

2018 was the year of the cabin / shack / hut / off-the-grid tiny dream home. Today, we revisit our favourites.

Stays

Is This The Most Unique Accommodation In Victoria?

Book a glamping stay at this idyllic, straw bale yurt located just outside Melbourne.
Amelia Barnes

Stays

Get Off-Grid With CABN

Escape the world in these sleek, contemporary tiny cabins, situated in secret locations, each within 1.5 hours of a major city.

This Week

On The Market

This Elegant Victorian With An Eclectic Architect-Designed Extension Is For Sale

Period features meet unique, contemporary design in this Ascot Vale, Melbourne home.

Homes

A Biophilic Family Home Among The Trees

The newly-renovated Warrandyte family home of Millie and Dave Wells perfectly blends indoors and out!

Stays

This Origami-Style Beach Shack Is The Perfect Coastal Getaway

This architecturally designed coastal retreat on Stradbroke Island looks out over the glittering Coral Sea. The most dreamy vacation destina...
Sasha Gattermayr
  3 hours ago

Creative People

A Travel-Inspired Ceramics Collection That Will Take You On Holiday!

Queensland-based ceramics brand Marloe Marloe launches a new collection of vessels inspired by the seaside!

News

Patricia Piccinini And Alpha60 Join Forces On A New Collaboration

The celebrated Australian artist and local fashion legends launch a new series of textiles titled ‘Hugs’, which are now installe...
Sponsored

Creative People

Behind The Scenes Of 'Rone In Geelong’ – Opening This Weekend!

See a retrospective of artist Rone's work to date at Geelong Gallery from Saturday February 27 to Sunday May 16, 2021.

Architecture

A Casually Confident Beachside Home

A falling down period home in South Fremantle has been brought back to life with a new extension by David Barr Architects.
Amelia Barnes
  11 hours ago

Shopping

Lockdown-Inspired Woven Outdoor Picnic Mats, From One Of Our Fave Local Stylists!

Stylist Nat Turnbull launches Laze, a new brand of outdoor mats for lounging and picnicking, with designs by Alice Oehr.

On The Market

An Interior Designer’s Glamorous Victorian Pad Hits The Market!

Chelsea Hing’s apartment in an 1890s Italianate mansion in St Kilda East is up for sale. This is *the one*!

News

'Giant' by Evi O Opens At Saint Cloche

Artist Evi O showcases her largest paintings to date in new exhibition Giant, on now at Saint Cloche.

Tiny Homes

The Architect-Designed, Prefabricated Tiny House Of The Future

FABPREFAB have teamed up with TRIAS to create Minima – a series of prefabricated, small dwellings suitable as home offices, living spaces,...

Architecture

A New Melbourne Home That Follows The Sun

This Eaglemont home has been cleverly designed 'to almost disappear', by Architects Eat.

News

A Group Show Combining Ceramics + Still-Life Under One Roof!

Ceramicist Grace Brown joins artistic forces with figurative artist Margaret Voterakis for a new exhibition at Modern Times, ‘Utopian Purs...
Sasha Aarons

Family

An Honest Conversation On Single Parenting By Choice + Donor Conception With Takeawei Ceramics Founder, Chela Edmunds

Chela Edmunds of Takeawei ceramics shares her story of becoming a mother to 18-month-old Ocean via sperm donor and IVF.

Studio Visit

The Melbourne Artist Creating Ceramics Inspired By Ancient Mesoamerican Culture

From dub music to the Chinese Song Dynasty, the influences of Enrique Tochez Anderson stretch far, wide and into the past.

Similar Stories

Stays

Cabin Fever

Our favourite cabins / shacks / huts / off-the-grid tiny dream homes!

Stays

Is This The Most Unique Accommodation In Victoria?

Book a glamping stay at this idyllic, straw bale yurt located just outside Melbourne.
Amelia Barnes

Stays

Get Off-Grid With CABN

Escape the world in these sleek, contemporary tiny cabins, situated in secret locations, each within 1.5 hours of a major city.

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.